Lincoln, the strategist, rises again
Hollywood by Choice
“Lincoln” is an excellent film, superbly acted and thoroughly engrossing, as it depicts the last four month’s of the 16th president’s life. From riveting dialogue to humorous moments “Lincoln” is a must-see film this holiday season.
It seems that this president, more than most others, will forever remain a source of interest and debate.
There have been hundreds of films made on Lincoln’s life, from freeing slaves, to saving the Union, to Lincoln’s death. By contrast, how many films have been made on the lives of Washington or Jefferson?
Director Steven Spielberg’s’ “Lincoln” is an outstanding movie that delves into history like never before.
Those who are not fans of history shouldn’t shy away from “Lincoln.” This film goes behind the scenes and peels back the political machinations Lincoln and his cronies used to ensure the passage of the 13th Amendment, making slavery illegal always and forever in the United States. As an added bi of authenticity, much of “Lincoln” was filmed in Richmond, Va., a former capital of the Confederacy.
Timing was everything. The war was ending, the South was about to surrender, but Lincoln knew that if the Constitution wasn’t amended Blacks would be forced back into slavery. The confederates, who were going to be permitted back into the Union peacefully, would reinstate slavery and all its brutality. The film depicts an incredible game of cat and mouse in an effort to guarantee the freedom for the emancipated slaves. This film was truly a war of words passionately delivered by an outstanding cast.
Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Abraham Lincoln, and he hands in an outstanding performance.
Spielberg said he was determined to sign Day-Lewis to the role after he noticed his profile and how much he looked like Lincoln from the side view. He says he took a picture of the actor without his knowledge and focused his mind on Day-Lewis in the role.
Oscar winner Sally Field had to fight for the role of Mary Todd Lincoln. Apparently, before Day-Lewis was signed to the role as Lincoln, Field felt sure the role of Lincoln’s wife was hers. But after Day-Lewis was signed, Spielberg told her she could not be cast in the role because Mary Todd Lincoln was 10 years younger than Lincoln while Field is actually 10 years older than Daniel Day-Lewis, and that it was too much of an age difference.
Not accepting no as the final word, Field asked if she could read for the part. After some persuading.
Spielberg agreed and actually flew in Day-Lewis to read with her. Both met in full costume, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Another interesting character in the film was Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907), played by Gloria Reuben. Keckley, a former slave was the dressmaker and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln. I was very happy to see Keckley, who bought her own freedom as well as her son’s, represented in the film, although it wasn’t a major role. Keckley owned her own business before joining the Lincoln family. We’d probably know more about her if she had not betrayed the confidence of the first lady by writing a tell-all book about her four years working in the White House.
Lizzie, as she was called, seemed to be the only person who understood and tolerated Mary Todd Lincoln’s unstable temperament and sharp tongue. Keckley’s book, “Behind the Scenes in the Lincoln Whitehouse” about the life of Mary Todd Lincoln and the happenings in the White House during Lincoln’s tenure was very controversial and the Lincolns’ eldest son, Robert, had the book removed from publication.
After that it was difficult for Keckley to get work as a dressmaker. She eventually lost her business and was forced to leave Washington. Keckley later served as a sewing instructor at Wilberforce University in Ohio.
Do yourself a favor; make sure you go see “Lincoln” in theaters now.
Gail can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
My family went to the movies to see “Lincoln,” the much advertised and critically acclaimed new film by Steven Spielberg. The plot centered on one particular phase of the president’s legacy, the abolition of slavery and how he got it done. All of us were taught the Emancipation Proclamation was the vehicle that abolished slavery in America. That just is not true, and Spielberg brilliantly showed us the real story. That’s right, it was not the Emancipation Proclamation!
When President Barack Obama continuously mentioned Abraham Lincoln during his campaign, using the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop for part of the inaugural ceremonies, it became very difficult to figure out why. The only rationale that seemed conceivable was, they are both homeboys from Illinois, and the Lincoln Memorial was an ideal location for the inaugural concert.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Passover, which celebrates what the Hebrew Bible describes as God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage, begins at sundown today.
Jews of all denominations and traditions will gather for a ritual meal called a Seder, which means order.
It features six symbolic foods, including matzo, a cracker-like unleavened bread symbolizing the Exodus from ancient Egypt when there was not enough time to let the bread rise.
With all this talk about slavery and “Django: Unchained” we bring into focus writer Alex Haley, the man who dared to write a groundbreaking novel about his ancestors entitled “Roots.”
“Roots,” which originally aired in 1977 on the ABC Network, literally captured the heart and imagination of America and the world. Never before had anything focusing on the subject of slavery ever graced the airwaves with such power and authority as this mini-series.